COOPERSTOWN’S GERRY WELCH
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Local inventor Gerry Welch believes he may have an answer to the face-mask shortage the nation is facing as it battles the Coronavirus threat.
For several years now, Welch has been promoting the “Aegis 12,” which the publicity describes as a “Healthcare Face Mask with Fail-Safe Power Pack.”
The device is two face masks with a silver foil layer in between, attached to a power pack that may be placed in a breast pocket or hung around the user’s neck.
The power pack, connected to the mask with a fiber-optic cable, provides “a high-intensity shortwave UV” that disinfects the air drawn into the center chamber through a louver in the front mask.
Welch, whose inventions include the Skeeter-Eater, a non-toxic means of reducing the mosquito population, said the Army has a 2010 patent on a similar device, but the energy source is in the mask itself, which soon heats up uncomfortably.
Regardless, the Army’s patent suggests the concept has merit.
He is seeking a patent with the assistance of Jay Yablon, the Schenectady lawyer who obtained the Skeeter-Eater patent, and meanwhile has contacted Corning, which manufacture fiber-optic cable, to gauge its interest.